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The Power of Giving Back: How Community Involvement Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Dec 12, 2014 09:03AM ● Published by City Journals Staff

Companies that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see many benefits, including loyal customers and happier employees. According to a May 2013 study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop. 

Build relationships within your community.

Look at your community to see what's important. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations? Etc.

Get your employees on board. 

Giving employees an avenue to give back is important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team. "When your employees love what they're doing, they do a better job." Offer employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours or participate in get-togethers after work, which is more fulfilling than just meeting for drinks. Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased staff performance and fulfillment and, ultimately, increased productivity and sales.

Create a custom volunteer plan. 

Owners/managers should evaluate their business and employee strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon those strengths. For example, if you own an accounting firm, you could volunteer to help a nonprofit set up their accounting practices or do their taxes. Decide how much time your employees can volunteer through the business on an annual basis, taking into account your operation demands.

Let customers know how you're giving back. 

Once you've implemented your volunteer strategy, let current and prospective customers know what you're doing by including this information on your website. Put a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it's easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.
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